Shannon Stacey

The Agony of De-Shoulder

Aches and pains come with the author territory, but it’s getting ridiculous over here. The pull between my shoulderblades I’m used to—you know, the one that comes from sitting on the couch hunched over the laptop on the coffee table. It also comes from typing in handwritten pages at the desk, when you’re looking down at the papers for an extended period of time. And don’t forget the ache that comes from too much mouse usage. At thirty-six I think I’m just becoming aware of how much posture matters.

But over the last few weeks, maybe longer, I’ve had this pain that pops up in my left shoulder if I spend too much time at either computer. And when I say pain, I mean the holy shit, I’m going to vomit and then die kind of pain usually reserved for migraines.

My husband offered the theory I pulled something or slept on it wrong, which is usually the case due to my spastic and rather bizarre sleeping habits. But I didn’t pull anything. The only way I could describe it to him is this—it feels like all the cartilage and other padding is gone and the ball is dry-rubbing against the socket to the point it’s sparking flames in there.

I’ve tried adjusting the desk chair to varying heights, which hasn’t helped. I would have been surprised if it did, since the chair’s been at the highest setting since we bought it several years ago.

Last night I actually wrote using my iPod Touch because I could sit back with my shoulders against the couch and be pain-free. I’m not sure what’s up with my shoulder, but it—along with pushing DG3—has been partly to blame for my blog neglect. (Okay, and Twitter. I admit it.)

11 comments to “The Agony of De-Shoulder”

  1. azteclady
      · April 1st, 2009 at 12:58 pm · Link

    Go see a doctor asap.

    My s.o. neglected just that type of pain and it ended in surgery.

  2. Charlene
      · April 1st, 2009 at 3:50 pm · Link

    You have an appointment to have this looked at, right?

    And when you recover, I recommend you get the 12 Second sequence workout DVDs. You do it for 20 minutes, 2 days a week. It builds up all the muscles that get weak/overstretched/abused sitting at a desk. I am pain-free when I do it regularly and that is way more motivating than vanity.

  3. Bev Stephans
      · April 1st, 2009 at 5:44 pm · Link

    See the doctor, Shan. Now!!

  4. Annmarie
      · April 1st, 2009 at 9:49 pm · Link

    *puts on lab coat*

    Hi. My name is Dr. Annmarie. While I’m not a ‘real’ doctor, I do play one on the internet. Speaking as a doctor that isn’t really a doctor but IS TOTALLY to be trusted because a) I’m wearing a lab coat and b) I’m smart and c) I’m related to a doctor, I advise you to actually GO TO a REAL LIVE doctor.

    It won’t hurt.

    Do it. I’ll write you a Rx.

    *pulls out Rx pad and pen*


    ‘Shannon Stacey see your doctor ASAP’

  5. Shannon
      · April 2nd, 2009 at 9:42 am · Link

    I’m going to give it a little time before I think about a doctor. I might have just tweaked a nerve or something.

    (And I don’t particularly care to share some things, but since I know y’all care and are right now preparing to rip me a new one, two self-employed people = no health insurance. The husband’s little carotid episode in the fall = OMG kinda money. Except for the kids & his check-ups, the family’s in a very conservative place when it comes to seeing a doctor. For this they can’t even guess until they’ve done an MRI or whatever of the shoulder. BUT, if it should continue too long or worsen, yes, I’ll go.)

  6. azteclady
      · April 2nd, 2009 at 11:57 am · Link


    Try taking anti inflammatory (ibuprofen) for a days, low dose, just a couple of times per day, see if that helps.

    (Not a doctor nor playing one, but that has worked for me when I pinch a nerve or pull a muscle)

  7. azteclady
      · April 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am · Link

    *head desk*

    And that should have said, (((Shannon))) and “a few days”

    I need more coffee…

  8. Shannon
      · April 2nd, 2009 at 12:04 pm · Link

    I’ll try that. :hug:

  9. Samantha
      · April 2nd, 2009 at 4:32 pm · Link

    I do this about once a year it seems, something in my shoulder just says no more computer for you. It really is weird though because I never can figure out what does it. So I bought a little 1 lb barbell and I just do regular motions with it, lift over my head, hold my arm parallel to the floor any motion not like how my arm sits on the desk and just for a count of 20 or so for each one. I do that several times a day on both arms and after a couple days it just goes away. I figure if that helps than I’ve just cramped, misaligned or tweeked it wrong, but if it ever stops working I’ll go to the doctor and eat the cost since I have no insurance as well.

  10. Anna Louise Lucia
      · April 3rd, 2009 at 5:21 am · Link

    Babe, please watch out for this. :) It’s possible it might not be musculo-skeletal, but could be referred pain? So any fever, and you DO go to the doc pronto! Hope it improves soon! :hug:

  11. Shannon
      · April 3rd, 2009 at 9:23 am · Link

    It’s doing a little better, maybe because I’ve been limiting my computer time. I usually move around a lot and write a lot by hand and such, but when I realized how close I was to wrapping up DG3 I forced some serious desk time.

    Still babying it, though. Don’t want to screw it up before ATV season starts. :groucho:

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